Jim T’s Journey – Week 4
“This week Jim went it alone for a few days and the poor guy Isn’t a happy bunny although he did better than he’s giving himself credit for as in the first session he couldn’t do 1 press up and this week he cracked out 16 tasty reps. A tasty rep means full range of motion chest nearly to the floor unlike the usual gym rat press ups that involve slightly bending the elbow whilst trying to make love to the floor!
Anyway I leave you with Jim and his strange titled blog?!!”
The Twin moons of Endomorph
So Tim has disappeared up north to top up his tan and Mr. Cocky-Big-Bollocks (that’s me btw) has decided to go it alone (by which I mean do two of my now four sessions a week by myself whilst he’s away) Much like Yoda said to Luke in ‘Empire Strikes Back’ I have been warned against this by Tim “… pain leads to suffering, suffering leads to the dark side” (Tim never actually said this, but the title should have been enough of a give away the theme of this weeks blog)
To recap, I have now completed the first phase of the infamous “Evolution of Man”, which basically means that my body is now processing protein into energy efficiently (check Men’s Health http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/truth-about-protein or Tim’s website http://eomfitness.com/blog/carbs-hate-you-they-really-do/) and that I break out in cold sweat everytime some one suggests a pizza. Not because I don’t fancy a slice, but the thought of having to deal with Tim’s look of disappointment is more than I can handle on a Monday morning. Somehow he manages to strike a balance between policeman and priest – neither of which you want to confess to if you can avoid it.
Phase 2 means German Body Composition training, which was (weirdly) designed by the Canadian strength coach Charles Polliquin. Now I personally wouldn’t know who I would trust less between the Germans or Canadians, but Tim assures me it’s the business / sorts the men from the boys kind of stuff.
In a nutshell it is a method of super-setting different body parts in a session alternating between upper and lower muscles, in my case a range of 2 exercises per set, for up to 4 sets per bodypart split over 8 exercises. In addition, you utilise a controlled rep-tempo (4 second negatives and 1 second positive) while working extremely fast in-between sets (30-60 seconds). Plus, you’re not training the muscle to complete failure (although it was touch and go for me the first time I went through it.) but instead using good technique and relying on the short rest periods to supply the intensity.
Sound simple? It is on paper, however in practice it really does take a good level of physical conditioning, motivation and pure intensity to keep going… which is what I came to discover when I went it alone.
The first thing that goes is your technique, Either that or it’s completely absent to begin with. In my case it was the skull crushers that did it. These are supposed to be alternated with barbell curls, which are no problem because we have all be doing curls since we saw Rocky, but the skull crushers, they are quite tough. If you haven’t done them before you lie on your back holding the dumbbell directly above your chest, and then you bend your elbow (not your shoulder) until the weights are either side of your temples or ‘skull’.
Doing this is a bitch. Either you pull your shoulders back when you lower them towards your skull, or forward when you raise the barbells back up. In my case I was lowering them and raising them using 60% shoulder until I realised I was doing it completely wrong. So I had to re-set and start again with the bench parallel to the mirror so I could watch my technique. This meant that the reps got slower whilst I strained to keep technique, manage my breathing, activate my core AND ended up doing six sets of curls, which meant I was knackered and it had taken me half an hour to do my first two exercises – not very intense!
Even when you do pick up the pace, not having someone there to make sure you do a complete rep means you end up just ‘working’ through the last 3 to 6 reps of each set and not fully extending, holding posture, activating your core and regulating your breathing – it’s a lot to bloody remember!
So the whole thing ended up a bit like Empire Strikes Back – Luke lost an arm and Han as ended up sealed in liquid nitrogen betrayed by his best mate Lando – in short, it was a total shambles!
Trust me wait until week 9 before trying this at home.
“I’ve never really watched Star Wars (gasp) so I don’t know what that last bit was all about but we are well on track as you’ll see when I post his transformation photos this week at the 4 week mark”